Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: China's Twentieth Century Revolutions (HIST10053)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryArguably no other country in the world during the twentieth century experienced such dramatic and turbulent change as China. At the turn of the century China was ruled by the Qing dynasty, heir to an imperial tradition that can be traced back to the 3rd century BC. By the end of the century China had experienced three major political revolutions (as well as enormous social and cultural change) and is today one of the very few states in the world still ruled by a Communist party. This course aims to provide insight into the meaning and significance of these changes.
Course description This course will focus on the nature and impact of five major developments in twentieth-century Chinese history: (1) The 1911 Revolution, which overthrew China's last imperial dynasty and established a republic, the first in Asia; (2) the Nationalist Revolution of the 1920s and the establishment of China's first party-state under the Guomindang (Nationalist Party); (3) the Communist-led rural revolution of the 1930s and 1940s that ushered in the People's Republic of China in 1949; (4) Mao Zedong's 'Cultural Revolution', which shook the Chinese socialist state in its foundations; and (5) the revolution that never was -- Tian'anmen and the politics of China in the 1980s.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse and evaluate conflicting historical interpretations on a given topic;
  2. Demonstrate the acquisition of basic knowledge in some of the most important fields of research on the history of China in the twentieth century, of a better understanding of the transnational aspects of China's history during this period, and of some of the most important concepts and methodological approaches to studying it;
  3. Understand the political importance of interpretations of twentieth-century Chinese history;
  4. Understanding the importance of concepts such as Nationalism, Communism, Fascism, Socialism, Stalinism, Maoism, Authoritarianism, and Neoliberalism;
  5. Synthesize secondary literature.
Reading List
1. Paul Bailey, China in the Twentieth Century (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001).
2. Lucien Bianco, "Peasant Movements", in J.K.Fairbank and A.Feuerwerker (eds), The Cambridge History of China, vol.13 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986).
3. Frank Dik├Âtter, The Discourse of Race in Modern China (London: Hurst, 1992).
4. Prasenjit Duara, Culture, Power and the State: Rural North China 1900-1942 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988).
5. Joseph Esherick, Reform and Revolution in China: The 1911 Revolution in Hunan and Hubei (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), chs. 4-5, epilogue.
6. Rebecca Karl, Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002), chs. 6-7.
7. Kenneth G. Lieberthal, Governing China from Revolution through Reform (New York: Norton, 2004).
8. Edward McCord, "Burn, Kill, Rape and Rob: Military Atrocities, Warlordism and Anti-Warlordism in Republican China", in Diana Lary & Stephen Mackinnon (eds.), Scars of War (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2001).
9. Maurice Meisner Mao's China and After (New York: Free Press, 1999).
10. Rana Mitter, Modern China: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: OUP, 2008).
11. Vera Schwarcz, The Chinese Enlightenment (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), intro., chs.1-3.
12. Hans van de Ven, "The Military in the Republic", China Quarterly no.150 (June 1997).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsChina's 20th C Rev
Course organiserDr Felix Boecking
Course secretaryMr George Bottrell-Campbell
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information